Behind the pitching of Jacob Martin, Cleburne defeated Trophy Club Nelson 3-0 Saturday in Game 3 of a Class 4A regional quarterfinal series at Fort Worth Arlington Heights High School.
The Yellow Jackets (28-4-1) advanced to the Class 4A regional semifinals against Lubbock Monterey.
Cleburne had taken Thursday’s opener 10-2, and Nelson dominated Friday with a 17-7 win in five innings. Saturday, unlike the first two games, pitching and defense were the focal points of the matchup.
Martin had a no-hitter going into the fifth inning when Nelson’s Briton Schiewe singled to right field. The senior (4-0) pitched six innings, allowing only two hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Martin retired 11 batters in a row from the first through fifth innings.
Nelson (20-16-1) threatened to rally in the seventh inning as Kevin Lentzner led off with a single. Cleburne junior Dylan Schneider, who recorded the Game 1 win, came on in relief of Martin. Nelson’s Reed Sherman then singled to put runners on first and second with no outs for the Bobcats.
But Schneider got Chase Collins to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Schneider then struck out Bobby Jones to end the game.
Cleburne jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first. Stevan Martinez and Martin put two men on with one out after a hit-by-pitch and walk, respectively. Tyler Fowler then singled to load the bases for Schneider, who drove in Martinez on an RBI single.
In the fourth inning, Cleburne added two runs to its lead. Schneider and Daniel Richardson each reached base via consecutive hit-by-pitches.
With Tyler Anderson at the plate, Nelson attempted to set up a play to pick off Schneider from second, but Bobcats pitcher Connor Prado (3-3) didn’t throw the ball. With the infield out of its usual alignment, Schneider raced to third and scored on an error. Spencer Suitt later hit a sacrifice fly to plate Richardson and cap the scoring.